Twyla M. Hansen

Nebraska State Poet 2013-2018


Gov. Dave Heineman named Twyla M. Hansen as Nebraska State Poet for the term Dec. 1, 2013 to Nov. 30, 2018.

Her newest book, DIRT SONGS: A PLAINS DUET (with Linda M. Hasselstrom), won the 2012 Nebraska Book Award and was Finalist for the 2012 High Plains Book Award and 2012 WILLA Literary Award. She has five previous books of poetry, including POTATO SOUP, winner of the 2004 Nebraska Book Award. Her writing has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Prairie Schooner, Midwest Quarterly, South Dakota Review, Platte Valley Review, Organization & Environment, Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, Crazy Woman Creek: Women Rewrite the American West, and A Contemporary Reader for Creative Writing.

Twyla has earned a B.S. and a M.Ag. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was raised in northeast Nebraska on land her grandparents farmed in the late 1800s as immigrants from Denmark. She lives and works in Lincoln, where her wooded acre is maintained as an urban wildlife habitat and was recognized in 1994 by the Mayor’s Landscape Conservation Award.

 Watch highlights from Twyla’s introduction to the State of Nebraska

(courtesy of NET Nebraska)




Winner, 2012 Nebraska Book Award – Nebraska Center for the Book (for “Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet”)

Finalist, 2012 WILLA Literary Award – Women Writing the West (for “Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet”)

Finalist, 2012 High Plains Book Award – Billings (MT) Parmly Library (for “Dirt Songs: A Plains Duet”)

Winner, Nebraska Book Award for Poetry, 2004 (for “Potato Soup”)


The Nebraska State Poet is brought to you through a partnership between Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Arts Council, the Nebraska Library Commission, and the Governor’s Office.



Wayne, Sidney to host WWI Chautauqua in June 2018

For the centennial remembrance of the end of the Great War, the communities of Way